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Stephen Jones

What's your average length of time at anyone place?

I was wondering what everyone's average length of time at any one employer has been?

I notice that most of my acquaintances and I average 2-3 years.  Some people average as low as 1.5 years.  Then there are people I consider outliers that might have been at their latest gig 5, 6, or even 8 years.

There is even one well known upper management type in my area (director, VP, CTO, and CEO positions) that has a record of very short stints.

I know it is not the 1940's any more so people rarely stick with the same employer for 30 years, but I still get nervous at times.  I've had to move on because of layoffs, office closures, better offers, or to learn new technology.

Should I be concerned?
Troy
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
So far:

8 months
6 years
7 years
8 months
5 years and counting...
Arethuza
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
so far

7 years.
1.5 years and counting...
Robert Buff
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
I've been in my current job for over 5 years, the longest I've ever stayed in a job. Prior to that, the longest I stayed anywhere was just under 2 years, and that was at a client site, when I was doing consulting work.
Full name
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
Ummm,

3 years
6 years
1 year
4 years
3.5 years

3 years is about the point where I've done everything I wanted to, and am starting to look to go onto the next big thing.

If I could stand working for huge companies (like an IBM or Microsoft), my interval might be longer, as they're big enough to where you can do an internal transfer and be working with an entirely new set of coworkers & interesting problems to solve.
xampl
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
9 months
7 years
1 year
9 months
6 months
1 month so far

If you stay too long anywhere, expect the transition to be challenging.

Since the 7 year job it's been difficult getting traction at subsequent jobs, but I like my current job a lot and I hope to be there at least a couple years if not longer.

We all know in this industry things change quickly, though.  I'd be surprised if I still had the same job in 2 years.
NPR Send private email
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
1 yr
6 mo
1 yr 4 mo
10 mo
6 yr 2 mo currently

I'm long past due for some new scenery.
Synodontis Send private email
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
10 Months (fired for reporting a manager sexually harassing a co-worker)
1 month (fired for refusing to run to the store for the receptionist and get refreshments for the President's meeting)
9 Months (moved out of state)
3 months (family emergency, had to move back)
3 months (let go without reason; I think the department was being cut as another dev left 2 weeks prior)
7 months (Left due to toxic workplace and being cursed out by the boss when the instructions he gave me were wrong; when I found out I went and fixed it, and got cursed at anyway)
Don't want to leave my name
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
4 years

2 years

1 years

5 years, thinking about a change in the next year

Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
"Don't want ...", you should re-read your reasons and then take a long, hard look at yourself.

For me:

2 years
2.5 years
seven months (layoff)
10 years in my own business including many stints of contract work of 1-3 years each.
3 years
1 year
3.5 years
3 months so far ...
Karl Perry Send private email
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
IMHO, the implications of this attitude is part of what's wrong with the industry.  No one stays anywhere long enough to need to be responsible for the consequences of their own work and decisions... let alone support it... so they really don't care if their code/systems are maintainable.  My times - 5 years, 3 years, 5 years, 13 years and counting.  My advice is - don't be afraid to stay in a good situation for a while if it's working for you.  If you are good and keep trying to improve, you will continue to be employable.
yack
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
yack,

I think the major problem is loyalty.  And as the saying goes "loyalty starts at the top, not the bottom".  Companies more often hire for a specific project not for the long-term.  Then when your skill set or job title doesn't meet exactly what is needed for the next go around they lay a bunch of people off.

As soon as companies regain the ability to show loyalty to people (yes people...they are not just laborers) the sooner people will start to give more of a damn about the quality of their work.
Trent
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
* 2.5 yrs
* 4.0 yrs
* 2.0 yrs
* 2.5 yrs (present)
Yoey Send private email
Sunday, June 22, 2008
 
 
8 months
1.5 yrs....present
.
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
1 year 6 months
2 years 9 months
3 years 5 months
4 years 3 months and counting
I have a life
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
For me, since leaving university:

3 years - running my own business
6 months -  working for someone else
15 years - running my own business

The few months working for someone else was an aberration. They made me some promises, then failed to deliver on any of them, so I left, set up a new consulting business and never looked back.

Consulting gigs have ranged from one week to five years, with an average of about six months to a year.
Odysseus Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
"loyalty starts at the top, not the bottom"

Since it was our fathers or grandfathers who knew what loyalty meant, I don't think that most of us know anymore. We hear this axiom and use bad companies to prove it, but at least I have no idea what counts as a loyal company. I've worked at great places that followed through on their promises and let me switch teams easily. Is this loyalty? Without a clear definition, the best we can do is say that no company is loyal and thus keep fueling that axiom.

Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
Yeah, I've done that.

The first situation was my naivety (first job out of college and all) in thinking the company would deal with the harassment by getting rid of the problem.  It's not like there wasn't proof.

The second there was no way to avoid, the company was completely fucked up and treated workers like mindless slaves.  I was an IT professional, not an errand boy.

The third and fourth speak for themselves.

The fifth, again, had no way to be avoided.  I had no idea it was coming, and they kept hush up about it up until the 11th hour.

The sixth... well that was my own fault for not fully investigating the working environment and finding out how dysfunctional it really was.  Not that they would have admitted it, but there were several red flags I didn't pick up on at the time.
Don't want to leave my name
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
35 mins was my shortest
Me neither
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
4 years (during college)
11 years - current job
Yo!
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
Length of time (reason to leave)
----------------------------------------
5 years (left to get other experiences)
2 years (too many layoffs could not watch CEO destroying the company, no new challenges.)
90 days (Too much travel, they lied about it at the time of interview)
5 years (fired, would not help company to relocate(plant closing).
1 year (Had to move for family reasons.)
1 year (Bored, Network Nazis would not let me do my job, Did not like the Manager)
6 months. (So far so good plan to be here for a while if things stay the same.)
norbi Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
1.5 years
New management got the idea programmers were replaceable and started working everyone to death. Before you chalk it up to inexperience I held on longer than most of the department(10 guys down to 2 when I left, and they weren't newbs either most of them had 10 years with the company.  When you consider 12+/7 the minimum work week you know you have issues.  One of my coworkers billed 100+ hrs a week.

11 months at my current post.  They are going to pay 80% of my MSCS so I hope to be here a while.
Brian
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
10 months
1 year
5 years
4 years
1 year and counting
JackHandy
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
4 years
1.5 years (startup)
4.5 years
3 years and counting
Austinian
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
4 years 120 days (USMC)
6 years {Philco}
1 1/2 years (Melonics)
5 1/2 years (SCI)
1 1/2 years (Fairchild)
14 years (SCT)
11 years (Current)

Now how many of those in the list are still independant companies? Most are merged out of existance.
Eric Hamilton Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
4 yrs (mechanical eng domain)
1 yr (contract, medical domain)
2 yrs (chose the wrong domain: financial. Left as fast as I could...)
3 and counting (medical domain again)
Ari Telias Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
2 years and looking...
darkt
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
Loyalty *from* the company or not, the "I'll care when they care" attitude puzzles me.  Don't we want to do Good Things (or at least The Best Things Possible) even in crappy situations? <comment about amateur-hour attitude deleted. flame on!>

In answer to the original question, since getting into programming for a living:
5 years (was being moved into a blast-proof building. it needed to be. didn't like the odds.)
3 years (outsourced)
1 year (contracting back in to outsourced position)
7 years (tired of living in hotels)
4 years and counting
a former big-fiver Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
Wanting to do good things is why a lot of people move on. It's hard to suck it up and deal when you know you can be dropped like a hot potato at any minute. I've been through a few rounds of buyouts, management changes and layoffs. It sucks. Big time. I can't fault anybody for looking out for themselves. I've seen too many people pour their hearts and souls into something, work like dogs to get their end of things done and then still get kicked to the curb.

That being said..
2 yrs
11 mos (startup that failed miserably)
2 yrs (back at company I was at before startup, 4 yrs total)
7 yrs
~1.5 yrs
9 mos and counting (hoping to be around for a while :-)

Personally I hate job hunting. The startup opportunity fell into my lap, and my 7 yr stint ended after a lot of attempts to better my position, but we went through many rounds of buyouts and the subsequent layoffs referenced above.
Bart Park
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
There is a difference between "doing Good Things"TM and being loyal to a company.  I always try to deliver the best work possible, but when it is made clear that it is fast and cheap then the ax(or quality and the ax even sooner because it isn't fast/cheap enough) you don't really have an option for "Good Things". So yeah pie in the sky, happy happy joy joy, amateur hour is next door.

Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
since university

5.5 years
3 months
2 years
2 years
6 years
michael Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
10 years.
8 years, and goin' nuts!!
Alphanumeric Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
<OT>
>>So yeah pie in the sky, happy happy joy joy, amateur hour is next door.

Sorry, "Pie in the sky" is thinking that you should be able to take whatever you need/want to produce an absolutely perfect implementation of every trivial bit of an application. Somebody, somewhere, is paying the bill and that is the trump card unless you have a way to live on nothing.

A pro looks at the constraints - time, money, people, tools, hardware - and does the best job (s)he can given those constraints.  Sometimes what comes out is technical dreck.  You want to eat next week, move on.  Or start your own company where *you* define what's 'OK'.  (see our host and other posters)

I really *do* have sympathy for folks in dreck machines, having been there myself. (my stints in healthcare & consulting)  But the *attitude* is self-defeating.
a former big-fiver Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
Brian: "One of my coworkers billed 100+ hrs a week."

Yeah, I've done that.

I've also billed more than 24 hours in one day.

Not recommended in the long term. I did 100 hours a week for three months once. It was hell, but I got paid by the hour and bought a nice new car at the end of it.

I'd never do that again though, you literally have no life.
Odysseus Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
I've been in the industry for nearly 20 years now and my father was one of those old timers with lengthy tenure at a company.  So I have a bit of an idea what loyalty is on both sides and I have seen American companies move away from that.

It is easy to tell people that they should conduct themselves as a professional no matter what, but when you don't get back the respect and loyalty form employers it just become ridiculous.  It's like beating your head against the wall while repeating to yourself "boy this will feel good when I stop".  And it only stops when you quit, get laid off, or are outsourced.  Then you move on and it starts all over again.

I'd be willing to agree that the problem is just with whiners, if it were just that easy.  But it's not.  The problem is chronic throughout American business.
Tegdub
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
1 month at telco
5 years at consumer goods
1 year at dotcom
7 months contracted for the same consumer goods co.
6 years at petroleum co.
Loyal dude
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
"It is easy to tell people that they should conduct themselves as a professional no matter what, but when you don't get back the respect and loyalty form employers it just become ridiculous."

for example, you need to give company two weeks notice in order to quit while the company can fire you whenever they want.

that's some loyalty there. shouldn't company give you two weeks notice as well if they going to fire you?

what a load of crap pushing down into our mouth by Corp. America!
.
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
For myself, shortest was 1 month contract, longest 11 years, current 18 months. In general, I see the younger guys doing 2-3 years, but that is probably because they feel that is the only way they can advance their career and/or get a good pay raise.
anony
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
3 yrs. (Client/Server Oracle)
8 months. (Full-fledged Java/J2EE from here on...)
6 months (counting and looking).

Now, really looking to find a good company with high salary and hoping to stay there for a long haul. Really don't care about the technology after landing the next high paying job.
Mr. Smith Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
7 yrs. - 1st job after graduating university

1 year and a few months.. Promotion.  but i have higher aspirations...

Not sure if I should leave for a higher level job.  Does upper management frown upon this?
Hesitant Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
"I've also billed more than 24 hours in one day." -- Odysseus

if that's a riddle I think the answer is that you flew during part of your work day "backwards" in time, right? Otherwise, WTH?

</OT>
fresh out of school, two and a half years
and I'm hoping to stay at the current one forever.
DorothyBooher Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
9yrs (fulltime)
2yrs (fulltime)
8 months (contractor)
5 months (fulltime at a really bad job)
5 months and still there
anon_for_this
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
"I've also billed more than 24 hours in one day." -- Odysseus

>>if that's a riddle I think the answer is that you flew during part of your work day "backwards" in time, right? Otherwise, WTH?

Start working 8am Friday, finish 10am Saturday.  Bill 26 hours for Friday (minus lunch, of course).  I've done that.  It really reduces your Saturday billing hours, though, if you like to sleep or eat.

Ahh, to be young again.
Brian Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
3 years
11 years
9 months (current)
Cade Roux Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
So far:
8 years (needed to move in order to improve my career prospects)
7 years (started at small company, bought by larger company, burned out after Y2K project, left for startup)
3 years (startup company bought by much larger company, then laid off by larger company due to dot-com bubble fallout)
3 years (back to large company #1 above. Quit because of management headaches, off to another startup)
3 years (startup bought by much larger company, still working there)

So I guess my average is about 4-5 years.
Mark Bessey Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
1 year (left to move around the world)
1 year (contract over)
3 years (wanted to move again)
3 months (let go during probation for not fitting in)
3 years (changed industries)
1 year (new industry not right for me)
2 years (and counting so far...)


I don't understand the people talking about "loyalty to your employer" or "sticking around is the responsible thing to do".

Monday, June 23, 2008
 
 
1) 3 years
2) 1 year 9 months
3) 14 years (current job)
ComputerProgrammer
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
 
 
1) 1 year 6 months
2) 5 years
3) 3 years
4) 8 months (current, my own mISV)
Dan
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
 
 
I guess I'm trying to hit every industry:

1.  3 years (defense)
2.  2 years (chip/mobile phone)
3.  1 year (current, embedded consumer)
Spyplane
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
 
 
I've never had a job for much longer than two years.

In two cases, I left because I wanted to move somewhere else. In one of those cases, the job I left also sucked really bad and I couldn't wait to leave anyway.

In one case I was forced to resign because my boss (who didn't hire me himself but inherited me from another company that was bought out) hated me, and as soon as I was no longer needed because we lost our key account (in part due to my boss's lousy salesmanship) it was made clear that I was no longer welcome.

In one case I left for a significantly higher salary at another job.

In one case, I left because I wanted to try something different.
Grumpy .NET programmer
Saturday, June 28, 2008
 
 
"I don't understand the people talking about "loyalty to your employer" or "sticking around is the responsible thing to do"."

Sad to say, but loyalty in the traditional sense is something of the past now.  As has been stated numerous times on JoS loyalty is something that starts at the top and works its way down.  Companies no longer show loyalty to America.  Companies no longer show show loyalty to workers.  Few companies want to build a smarter work force and pay for educating workers.  It's a downward spiral that has come back to bite corporations.

Today everyone is considered to be a "free agent" even if they are a salaried employee.
talent
Sunday, June 29, 2008
 
 

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